You might not be in the market for a job doing metal roof estimate, but there is no harm in knowing the basics as it helps you to assess if the professional roof estimator has done is job right. Learning a few basic steps helps you to do the estimate yourself. When it comes to metal making even a small error of a few roof squares can cost you thousands of dollars. So, it is important to do it right.
Sometimes, even professionals make mistakes. They may miss out an entire section of your roof and you might up end up with a completely metal roof estimate. After you have ordered for the materials and its time to roll out the roofing you discover that you are way short of the metal shingles or sheets. This is not a very pleasant situation. One because your budgeting would go for a toss and second because if you have ordered custom-made roofing material then ordering for more might be way to expensive and difficult. It is situation that is best avoided through careful estimating and measuring.
Metal roofs are some of most expensive ones and if we are off by even a 4 squares your budget will be need to be reconfigured by around $4000 dollars. This is a big amount. Add to the cost of re-calculating the fee for the roofer and cost of buying extra roofing materials and you will be looking at a big hole in your pocket. As they say information and knowledge are the ultimate weapons. Having a general idea about how to measure for your metal roof estimate will help you make your own rough estimates and when the estimator presents you with wrong data you can call them out on it. Also, this knowledge prevents some unscrupulous contractor from taking advantage of you.
When your roof is leaking and your home is getting all damp and mold is not the time you are thinking straight. At these times you can easily be taken in by wrong estimates and wrong advice. All you are thinking of is probably how to fix the leak. So, you might go with any metal roof estimate you are presented with. But, it is at times like this that you are supposed guard yourself against getting cheated. If you have a rough knowledge then you can cross-verify the facts and measurements.
A. Roof Measure – Roofing Squares
The first important point to remember when doing roof estimates is the term roofing square. Roofing materials are usually sold in roofing squares. One roofing square is 100 square feet. Now, if all roofs were just plain squares or rectangles it would be easy to measure the length and breadth and multiply to get the area of the roof. But, it is not so simple. Roofs have all kinds of decorative and functional elements like dormers, domes, turrets, arches and slopes. It requires a bit of maths knowledge that you gained in 7th grade to figure all the surface areas to arrive at the final metal roof estimate for your home.
B. Surface Of The Roof:
The second part of the measurement involves finding the area of the house taking the outer dimensions of the it in feet. Multiply the length and breadth of the house to get the floor area of the roof in square feet. You need to keep in mind the overhang of the roof and take that into to get an accurate idea about the surface area.
C. The Hard Part – Measuring The Various Surfaces
Roofs are rarely square or rectangular, you get them in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The complex geometric patterns need to be broken down into simpler shapes to measure their areas. When measuring make sure you have divided into easily measurable surfaces like square, rectangles, triangles, circles, semi-circles, spheres, cylinders and cones. Adding them all up gives you the total area in square feet. Convert the area into roof squares. This is got by dividing the area of the measured roof by 100. When you order materials based on your metal roof estimate you do so in roof squares.
D. The Harder Part – Measuring Area Of Sloped Surfaces
Most houses come with architectural elements like slopes. The slope can be very steep or gentle rise. When measuring the areas of slopes for metal roof estimate, the estimator can make mistakes, especially if the roof is designed all complex. Let’s assume that there are 3 levels of steepness for these 3-dimensional roofs.
The first level is 3:12 pitch, this means that the roof rises 3 to 5 feet for every 12 feet of base horizontal length. this pitch is comfortable to walk and roof installation is pretty easy for the contractors. To get approximate surface area of the roof here you will have to multiply with a roof multiplier number that lies between 1.15 to 1.25.
The second level of steepness is the medium pitch and here the roof rises about 6 to 9 feet for every 12 feet of base horizontal length. Here the roof multiplier value ranges between 1.25-1.4. This roof is not easily walkable and needs special protection for the installers. This will also involve extra expenses for installation purposes.
The third level is classified as steep roofs or high pitch roofs. Here the roof rises by more than 9 feet per 12 feet of base horizontal length. And the installation process is very complex needing special skills and equipments. The costs of installation is really very high. Here you need a roof multiplier of 1.4 to 1.7 to arrive at the surface area of the roof.
E. Roofs Are Not That Simple
Well, if it was so simple we would never need metal roof estimate training to find out how much roofing is needed. Most roofs have valleys, end walls, dormers, hips, gables, chimneys and so on making measuring that much more tougher. If the roof’s medium slope starts somewhere in the middle and is moderately cut up then choose a value between 1.25 to 1.4. Say, you have measured a house at ground level to measure 40 x 60. Then the area is 2400 square feet or 24 roof squares. If it has moderately medium slope then multiply the 24 by 1.3 to get 31.2 squares of roofing.
A lot depends on how you negotiate with the contractors regarding pricing issues. A person with good negotiation skills will easily be able to get the costs down to reasonable levels. If you need to pull down the old shingles the contractor will charge you for pulling them down, cleaning up involves some costs, next comes installation cost which again varies depending on the pitch of the house.
Even if you don’t get on to the roof and do the metal roof estimate atleast you will have a fair idea about the costs involved and how the measurements have been arrived at through the above simple guide.